Government will prosecute people who smuggle, hoard or adulterate premix fuel in the country following coming into force of Legislative Instrument (LI) 2233 and 2251 in January this year.
The prosecution will, however, happen only after sensitisation fora have been organised for all Coastal and Landing Beach Committee members.
At the first in a series of fora for members of the committees, as well as chief fishermen, canoe owners, fishmongers and other stakeholders in Accra, the Chairman of the National Premix Fuel Committee, Nii Lante Bannerman, warned the fisherfolk to stop smuggling premix fuel or risk prosecution, which could land them in jail for a minimum of two years.
He said after the sensitisation exercise, there would be no excuse for anyone who would be caught smuggling or adulterating premix fuel, which was heavily subsidised with the taxpayer’s money.
According to him, because the government wanted to put a human face to its actions, it had decided to educate the fisherfolk on the need to desist from any illegal act with regard to premix fuel.
Mr Bannerman said acts of smuggling, hoarding or inflation of the price of premix fuel were an offence under the LIs and culprits would be duly handed over to the police for prosecution.
LI 2233 and LI 2251
The participants were taken through the legislative instruments which had provisions such as the functions of the landing beach committee, tenure of office of the landing beach committee and the role of the executive of the premix fuel committees.
A member of the NPFC, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, who educated the participants on the tracking of petroleum products, said so far 2,000 of the 3,500 fuel tankers in the country had tracking devices on them, including all trucks carrying premix fuel.
He, therefore, warned that anyone who diverted or siphoned fuel would be caught.
The Director of Fisheries at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mr Michael Davide, explained that committee members had a role to play in ensuring that the laws regulating premix fuel were adhered to.
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